Massage for your spirit

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I sit with my legs crossed, in a comfortable, oversized chair in the living room of my spiritual director. “We’ll take some time for quiet now,” she says, her voice soothing and gentle. “Breathing in and out.”

It’s been a busy day. As the late afternoon sun slants in beams through the windows across the room, I close my eyes. 

My brain is not cooperating.

“I wonder if …”

“How did that situation …”

“Why did he say …”

“Don’t forget to …”

My thoughts keep swirling, even as I try to harness them, to tamp them down. Breathe in. Breathe out. I like the way that my breath sounds like ocean waves. I think about standing, toes curled in the warm summer sand and hearing the ebb and flow as though the surf is the breath of God.

The thoughts start to slow, just a little, and I sink further into the chair. The silence feels good and anticipatory. It's the same way my body feels when I lie on the massage table waiting for the therapist. Now, my soul feels ready for its massage. 

Breathe in, breathe out

We sit in stillness for a few minutes more and while I never feel fully relaxed, there is an unwinding of tension in my chest as our session goes on.

Guided meditations, prayer, silence, walking meditations—these practices offer us a powerful way to connect with The One who is in each of us. Sometimes words help make that connection. Other times words get in the way.

What we need and often lack is the letting go of the temporal—the here and now, the worries, the frantic rushing, the constant trying—and the connection to the spiritual. It does not come easily. 

When the connection is made, though, it's like standing in front of a crackling fireplace after spending hours in the cold and damp. It's like the first, strong rays of sunshine that you turn your face up to after a long, snowy spring. It's like a massage where finally you can relax, fully knowing that you are in the capable, strong hands of someone who is here to help you.

Do you have a practice that feels like a spiritual massage? If so, please share in the comments. 


  1. Five years ago my elder son was in a motorcycle accident. I had to pick him up from the side of the road and put him in the back of my car to take him to the hospital. We spent four days in the hospital with him as he had two surgeries to put things back together. There were so many what ifs floating around in my head, I had to make myself stay in the moment, in the now, the entire time. I was entreating God to be with me and to make me mindful of His presence in each moment. It was the only way for me to make it through the crisis without melting down. I fully believe that my peace is found in this moment and this moment only, each day. I love your massage analogy - nothing brings peace like a great massage!

    1. Wow, Tina, that is a really powerful example of mindfulness. I'm so glad that your son was OK, and that you made it through all the fear and what if's by turning to God and ultimately finding peace. Thanks for sharing this!


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